Saturday, May 30, 2015

Focussing on What is Important

I use google mail for my email to avoid being tied to any particular ISP.  Over the past few weeks I have had a few problems with not receiving emails. I had checked the usual junk folder options, but nothing appeared amiss.  A few days ago, I accidentally stumbled on the problem.  For some reason google mail is taking emails and adding them to the trash!  I have checked all the rules, but I cannot find the reason why.

In reviewing the contents of the trash I discovered several blog subscriptions about personal finance had found their way into a new home.  The funny thing was I had been so busy with life, I had not really noticed that they weren't in my inbox. I spent some time recovering the articles and moving them to my inbox, and as a temporary measure I monitor the trash each day to grab them out.

In reading an article this morning, it was talking about a process to journal what you are doing each day and how happy you are doing it.  The concept is that you find the times when you are most happiest and then spend more time doing those activities.

It has been an introspective week of mulling over a few things, so it was a timely read, and an epiphany that I had wandered a little off course.  By trying to focus on making everyone else happy, I had forgotten to take time to focus on what made me happy. 

I am most happiest when I am organised.  And in turn being organised allows me to focus on things that make me happy, and it improves the quality of the family life.  Each weekend the youngster has free range of technology or television, or any activity of choice up until 9:00 AM.  From there, there is a technology switch off.  We have followed this routine for many years, but of late things have slipped.  I have also noticed that stepping in the footsteps of an older brother has meant that there is some mimicking of the types of games he likes to play.  Within the bounds of what is age appropriated, I have allowed for this to occur.  But what I have noticed is that there is a distinct behavioural problem that occurs after playing time battling opponents. 

When being better organised, I am better able to ponder life's mysteries, and in turn this enables me to be a better parent.  The iPad has been lost at about 9:05 each morning, and has not been played any evening during the school week.  The result is that there is a forced down time to focus on other activities.  This in turn has resulted in the youngster being better organised, and an improvement in our relationship and her behaviour.

This morning at 9:05 AM she rushed out to advise that technology is to be off.  Initially I was annoyed, I bet that is her reaction at the 9:00 AM announcement!  I had spent the time working on reviewing the finances for end of month, adjusting the progress on goals, filing away some of the stack of paperwork that is on the desk and transferring photos ready for new blog updates.  I quickly recovered and put a note on the schedule for how I felt about the morning..  I remember that I actually like to cook each weekend.  To prepare options for lunch boxes and advance meals, and to take time to prepare for the family dinner night that occurs. 

I also love to minimise wastage, and reduce our grocery budget as much as possible.  Our weekly budget is $100 per week, and it has been this for several years.  Despite our family of two often being five, we still have not adjusted the weekly budget.  I have actually had time to go back and start menu planning for each week, tracking our progress against budget, and organising to have our groceries delivered.  In short, we eat better when we have more time, and it costs us less to do so.  I love the conversations from the youngster that occur about what is planned for dinner.

We took a look at the surplus items in the fridge and pantry, and made a bee line to whipping up a weetbix slice, complete with the Easter egg chocolate topping.  Instead of me doing all the cooking, I stepped aside and let the youngster take charge.  Now I am the first to admit, I have kitchen control issues, and they do not cope well with the cyclone child.  Despite all of this we managed to spend time learning about fractions, weights and temperature of melting chocolate.  This was a nice opportunity to review maths homework and to look at real life examples of how it is useful.

Unfortunately there is a requirement for some new winter pj's, so a trip to the shopping centre will be required, and that will not be chalked up on the happiness meter, I detest shopping.  But perhaps we can stop in to the nursery on the way home and grab some new herbs to replace the ones that the turkey pulled out over the weekend.  Now the pool table is gone, I have some spare room inside, so they can grow safely on this side of the glass!  We also need to wash the car, fill up the garbage bins and potter around the yard doing some odd jobs.


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